GARY MILLS has likened tomorrow’s Wembley trip to the traditional curtain-raiser to a new season and challenged his players to start the fightback from relegation by lifting the FA Trophy.
The Minstermen suffered a chastening end to the National League campaign, a final day draw at home to Forest Green Rovers not being enough to keep the club up.
Mills reaffirmed his commitment to City within a few days of relegation being confirmed and has since been busy, retaining the likes of Jon Parkin and Sam Muggleton for 2017-18.
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It has been a difficult time. But we are in a game where you either feel sorry for yourselves or bounce back and be positive.Gary Mills
“Last season is gone,” said Mills, who expects 90 per cent of last season’s squad to stay at Bootham Crescent. “For me, this is next season. The majority of these players at Wembley will be with us next season and, to me, this is the Charity Shield.
“That is the start of the season. We are going to Wembley to win the Trophy and that will be a great start to next season.”
York’s relegation came as a huge blow to Mills and his players, not least because the club had moved out of the bottom four in the final few weeks only to sink back into trouble.
“It has been a difficult time,” said Mills, who led York to Trophy success in 2012 with a 2-0 Wembley win over Newport County. “But we are in a game where you either feel sorry for yourselves or bounce back and be positive.
“Three weeks is a long time to hang around to go to Wembley. We had 10 days off after the Forest Green game, which was essential for a lot of reasons.
“At times like this, you find out what this game is about. You find out what the club is about and yourself and then you move forward.
“I want to be positive and I want to move forward. We have a lovely day out at Wembley and my job is to make sure the players are motivated and doing their jobs 100 per cent. We will be a better team for this.”